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Full speed ahead! Because technology never sleeps. Cybersecurity, the renaissance of personal transportation or VR applications in the home office - today's trends are tomorrow's competitive decision-makers. Our digital consultants take a close look at the 9 hottest tech trends, test them for practicality and provide insightful outlooks.
The reason for this lies not only in the laws already in place, but also in us users. Even when we know that Google, Facebook and Apple are using our data for God knows what, we gladly give it away to supposedly "free" services and convenience. Even fines, crushing or tougher privacy laws won't change that. On the contrary: even more complicated laws and regulations will make it even more difficult for European companies and start-ups to build up a counterbalance or even a serious competition. The best proof of this is that exactly two German companies are represented in the top 100 listed companies: SAP in 57th place and Siemens in 85th place. Over half of the top 100 companies are US technology or Asian companies. This trend will continue in 2022, even if China currently imposes (marginal) penalties on Alibaba, JD.com and Tencent to reduce tech dominance or the US government plans similar action. Without these tech giants, nothing will progress in the coming year - and nothing will stand against them.
The advantages are clear: On the one hand, the data remains with the person who generates it. For end customers, this means that personal data is much better protected. The industry, on the other hand, can be sure not to have to share its own measurement data with machine learning competitors.
At the same time, thanks to their architecture, Big Data machine learning systems tend to find lowest common denominators rather than the individual best solution for a task. If the data is calculated exactly where it is generated, the solution will fit the application most accurately. In smartphones, these AI edge solutions have been used by some manufacturers for some time. Apple's FaceID facial recognition, for example, is implemented exclusively in the iPhone itself on the built-in AI chips.
Meanwhile, the cost, size, power consumption, and development effort of AI chipsets are rapidly decreasing. This will allow new smart home applications as early as 2021. At the digital CES, for example, shower heads with built-in intelligence were shown - to be able to optimize water and energy consumption. At the same time, the first campus networks based on 5G are emerging, allowing the local use of data from thousands of IoT devices simultaneously, for example in logistics centers or factory floors.
It could therefore be that the automotive industry, which had actually been pronounced dead, is actually experiencing an upswing that was not actually foreseeable. But how will usage change?
Tesla has shown how with one click the range of the cars was extended by unlocking battery capacity. And that is by no means all that is feasible in the context of digitalization, because digitalization will not stop within the car and in the driving experience. Whether it's driver assistance systems such as lane and distance keeping or the autopilot, whether it's a touch UI media system or the complete voice-controlled package - all OEMs are working flat out to digitize the driving experience. At all levels. But the level that will probably have the greatest relevance for the continued existence of individual manufacturers is the level that is invisible to the user - the level of data and the level of what can be initiated and calculated with telematics and behavioral tracking data. Any manufacturer of mobility solutions who does not have the topic of data and, above all, its correlation in mind and, above all, has not set it as a top priority, will no longer be represented on the market in a few years.
The question companies currently face is therefore no longer whether they should get involved in e-sports, but exactly how. After all, e-sports open up a wide range of possibilities for getting involved and achieving one's own goals in the process. Brand reputation and brand management are certainly at the top of the list. Especially younger target groups can be addressed very directly and the own brand can be optimally staged. From team, event or league sponsoring to the marketing of in-game elements such as so-called lootboxes, there are numerous options available here to attract attention creatively and effectively. E-sports serves here as an open platform for sponsors, partners and investors. At the same time, however, e-sports also functions as a vehicle to establish itself on new/further channels or to expand into international markets.
Be it platforms such as Twitch or the entry into influencer marketing, e.g. on TikTok - these activities in particular can facilitate market entry, as e-sports can now be classified as a global phenomenon. If these activities are cleverly embedded in an overarching marketing or e-commerce strategy, it is possible to increase sales in addition to brand management. However, given the increasing push of numerous companies into the e-sports market, strategic, creative and, above all, timely action is required to ensure that the most lucrative options are not already completely taken by the competition.
Companies that use data not only for marketing (towards the customer) but also harness existing data for internal operations will emerge extra strengthened from the pandemic. However, it is important to know which processes can be profitably digitized and, above all, which data is required in which quality in order to be able to realize this digitization. Here, among other things, companies can fall back on our partner Celonis to get an overview of the current processes and process costs. The necessary data is often already available, but in many cases the know-how, the time or the technology to make use of the data is missing. Therefore, the trend of data usage will continue to grow in relevance. Those who do not use the current period of limitation for internal digitization will be left behind when the pandemic is over.
The Brand Value Index is calculated from two main data pools: on the one hand, it is about how end customers perceive the brand, but on the other hand, it is also about how analysts assess the future viability of a company. This brings us full circle to our own employees.
The valuation logic of the analysts describes the following system: the current and future top performers in their jobs - and no longer just in technical positions - have a value-driven basic attitude. This contrasts with a financially driven mindset that was common in the generation before. The top performers will prefer the companies as employers that respect and represent these values. And only companies with top performers have a chance of surviving in a world that is changing at top speed. From this follows: no values, no value.
While issues of climate change and diversity play a role for German top performers, in the USA - driven by the recent past - the fight against structural racism and the provision of upward mobility for disadvantaged social groups also play a role. And arguably the new president plays a role as well. That's because major U.S. companies have found it remarkably easy to embrace social values at digital CES.
Numerous startups and software companies are currently "shooting up like mushrooms", but the end of the line is still a long way off: The hardware, which is currently still very resource hungry, will improve. Even if Facebook currently has a sort of quasi-monopoly on standalone VR goggles, the disadvantages of using Oculus will be offset by other vendors or technologies. We see VR technology (with or without dedicated extra hardware, as a web or standalone app) as a trend that will really take off in 2022 - because working from a home office isn't going away, it's going to be Work 4.0.
A small selection of providers: MeetinVR, Glue, BigScreen VR, Spatial, AltspaceVR, WeAre Rooms, Lightshape, vispa.io
The core cloud offers all services and communicates with the regional and edge clouds: The regional clouds represent intermediate stations that mainly perform proxy and caching functions, while the edge clouds cover task areas that require very low latency and are accordingly placed as close as possible to the user. Of central importance here is the caching of data and possibly entire services to prevent them from having to be reloaded from the core cloud each time they are used, but instead can be obtained from edge clouds in close physical proximity.
In this way, the central goals of the distributed cloud, lowest possible latency, better scalability and higher performance, can be achieved. As the scale and complexity of common services increases, the need for distributed clouds also increases as the required bandwidth needs to be reduced in the long run. In addition to its use in content delivery networks, which are required for streaming video content, for example, or its use in smart factories, the concept of distributed clouds represents the basis for the future of mobility. After all, for autonomous driving, where all vehicles have to exchange a large amount of data with each other in the shortest possible time in order to find their way without an accident, you need both absolute reliability and extremely low latency of the cloud infrastructure.
Accordingly, this technology will also continue to develop in the future and gain in importance - so with us at your side, you are well looked after for your company, from enabling your employees and creating individual concepts to implementing and operating cloud solutions .
More important, however, are critical infrastructures such as nuclear power plants or hospitals - these are becoming increasingly digitized, and that presents numerous opportunities for hackers to get in. Autonomous driving and numerous digital services within the vehicle also open the door to hackers and cyber attacks. The more digitized, the more that can be updated or installed "over the air", the more attention will be paid to the security of data and data connections. Companies dealing with the issue of data and infrastructure security are basically looking at golden times. Companies that offer home offices or at least carry out online transactions (such as orders, sending e-mails, chats, etc.) but have not yet thought about cybersecurity should do so as soon as possible. Once the network is infected or even encrypted, it is too late
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